California moves to implement intrastate ELD mandate for in-state-only truckers

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Updated Nov 11, 2022

The California Highway Patrol is proposing to adopt the federal electronic logging device mandate for intrastate carriers, with a few exceptions.

California is one of only two states that has not yet adopted the federal ELD rule for intrastate carriers. According to J.J. Keller, Wisconsin put out a proposal to adopt the regs in June, but a final rule has not yet been published.

“The reason there are still states that have not completed their intrastate ELD regulations is some states do not automatically adopt changes to the FMCSA regulations into their intrastate safety regulations,” said Tom Bray, senior industry business advisor with J.J. Keller. “Some of these states are also slow at doing the necessary manual updates to their intrastate safety regulations to bring them in line with the federal compatibility requirement," (such as California and Wisconsin in this case).

Currently, California regulations do not require an ELD as the method for preparing an intrastate driver’s record of duty status (RODS), and are subsequently not compatible with federal regulations, CHP said in its proposal.

With a large intrastate-only population of carriers, the change could be a big one for a large number of hauling businesses.   

[Related: Three small fleets take stock of California's AB 5 contractor law]

California’s proposed intrastate ELD mandate is in line with federal rules, with some exceptions to required ELD use: 

  • When a mostly short-haul driver is required to keep logs eight or fewer days in a 30-day period
  • When a driver is in a driveaway-towaway operation in which the vehicle being driven is part of the shipment being delivered
  • When the truck being driven was manufactured before model year 2000, as reflected in the vehicle identification number (VIN) and as shown on the vehicle’s registration. This is a departure from the federal mandate, which goes off of engine model year. Given the California Air Resources Board's emissions requirements for vehicle registration, trucks powered by 2009-model-year engines and older cannot register in the state as of Jan. 1, 2023.

Additionally, intrastate drivers of the following vehicles are not required to keep logs in California, as long as the carrier can provide documentation of their total time worked and time of reporting on- and off-duty each day for six months:

  • Vehicles owned and operated by any forestry or fire department of any public agency
  • Vehicles, owned and operated by local law enforcement agencies, which are engaged in the transportation of inmates or prisoners within the county where the agency is located
  • The vehicle is an Authorized Emergency Vehicle as defined by California code
  • A vehicle that is operated by a driver who is operating under California’s 100 air-mile radius exemption

CHP is accepting written comments on its proposal through Dec. 19. Comments can be emailed to [email protected], faxed to (916) 322-3154, or mailed to:

California Highway Patrol
Enforcement and Planning Division
Commercial Vehicle Section
Attention: Sergeant David Kelly
P.O. Box 942898
Sacramento, CA 94298-0001

Additionally, no public hearing has been scheduled, but written requests for a public hearing can be submitted to CHP no later than 15 days before the written comment period closes.

Bray with J.J. Keller said once the proposal's comment period stage is complete, CHP will review any comments received and develop a final rule, which will then need to be published with a compliance date included.

“The bottom line,” Bray said, is “it will not happen for a little while. In some cases, this process can take a year or more.”

[Related: ELDs and highway safety: Crashes, injuries and fatalities rise post-mandate]